A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid

Kia has really turned over a new leaf with their cars in the past few years, and the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is certainly no exception. With the same attractive design as the Optima, higher fuel efficiency, and a smaller carbon footprint, the Optima Hybrid is a great mid-size sedan for getting around town or hitting the road for a family vacation.

Key Features

Among the many options available for the Optima Hybrid, the heated seats and heated steering wheel really stand out, as does the voice-activated audio system. The standard USB inputs are also a great feature on all of the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid trims.

Changes for 2012

2012 was the second year that Kia offered the Optima in a hybrid model, so there weren’t a lot of major changes, just a few minor tweaks and upgrades. These included power-folding mirrors and Kia’s UVO voice-activated eight-speaker audio system for the EX and SX trim models. The LX trims also got a few improvements, as well, including automatic headlights.

What We Like

The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is one of the most attractive hybrid sedans out there. While you’d enjoy getting 35 miles to the gallon in the city and 40 on the highway in any car, it helps that this one has styling to compete with much more expensive European models.

What Concerns Us

The resale values on the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid are better than previous Kia models, but they still aren’t quite as good as resale values on equivalent Toyota and Honda models.

Available Models

Whether you choose the base model or any of the higher-end trims, it’s what’s under the hood that matters. The 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid comes with:

  • Engine – 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder hybrid
  • Power – 166 HP at 6000 RPM (gas) / 40 HP at 1400-6000 RPM (electric)
  • Torque – 154 lb-ft at 4250 (gas) / 152 lb-ft at 0-1400 (electric)
  • Fuel economy (MPG city/highway) – 35/40

Major Recalls

There have been no major recalls on the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid.

Common Issues

Drivers have found very little to complain about with this model. A few drivers have complained of loss of braking power when coming to a stop or a jerking transmission when decelerating. These issues are not the norm by far, but you should keep them in mind when shopping for a 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid.

kia optima hybrid 2012 interior


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19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
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Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

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Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
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I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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